Comings and goings: Station leaders elected to NPR board, CCO to leave CapRadio …

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Two public media leaders were elected to NPR’s board of directors for three-year teams beginning in November. They are R.C. McBride, GM for WGLT in Normal, Ill.; and Elise Pepple, executive director for Marfa Public Radio in Texas. They will succeed outgoing NPR Board Chair LaFontaine E. Oliver, president of WYPR in Baltimore; and Jay Pearce, CEO for WVIK in Rock Island, Ill.

McBride and Pepple

Two station managers were reelected to three-year terms starting in November: They are Joe O’Connor, CEO for WFAE in Charlotte, N.C.; and Mike Savage, GM for WEKU in Richmond, Ky.

In addition, Joanna Lambert, head of consumer at Yahoo, was confirmed by the membership to complete a vacant unexpired term that expires in November 2024. Lambert had been elected by the board June 24. Telisa Yancy, president of American Family Insurance, and Howard Wollner, a retired SVP for Starbucks, were reelected to their second three-year terms as public directors beginning in November.

The changes were announced during a Wednesday board meeting.

Joe Barr is leaving his position as CCO for CapRadio in Sacramento, Calif., effective Oct. 14.


“I plan to continue serving California in new ways, and I’ll share more details about that soon,” Barr said in a newsroom memo. “For now, I’m celebrating our shared accomplishments and I can’t wait to see and hear what CapRadio does next!”

Barr joined the station in 2001 as a host and reporter. He was also deputy news director, news director and director of news and information before being promoted to his current title in 2015.



Sheila Byrd became director of communications for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Byrd succeeds Sophie Wolf, who left the state network earlier this year to lead communications for the Community Foundation for Mississippi. Byrd most recently worked as VP and managing editor for Weber Shandwick, a marketing agency. She also led communications for former Jackson, Miss., Mayor Tony Yarber, covered the state of Mississippi for The Associated Press and was site director for Jackson Voices, a news diversity project led by the Clarion-Ledger and the Maynard Institute.



Andee Tagle, an associate producer for NPR’s Life Kit, will be a reporter-producer for the advice podcast and radio show. Tagle joined NPR as an intern for the Arts Desk in 2019. She was also a news assistant for the Arts Desk and a production assistant for Life Kit. “… Many of our listeners already know Andee, who has hosted episodes on grappling with likeability, relationship contracts, moving on a budget, and more,” said Beth Donovan, senior director of Life Kit & Special Projects, in a news release. “Andee is also the face of our Dear Life Kit series, and I’m eager for the innovation and enthusiasm she will bring to the reporter-producer role.”


Sophia Alvarez Boyd is leaving her position as a producer for 1A, produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C., to become a producer for First Person, a New York Times podcast hosted by former NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro. Boyd joined 1A last year. She previously worked for NPR as an associate producer and celebrity booker for Weekend Edition.


Ally Schweitzer, a housing and development reporter for WAMU in Washington, D.C., announced that she will leave the station this month to join NPR as an editor for Morning Edition. “It’s tough saying goodbye to @wamu885. I love it here, and we just won our first labor contract! There are many stories I still want to do, and our new leadership is exciting. But it’s @MorningEdition, for Pete’s sake!” Schweitzer said on Twitter. She joined WAMU in 2014.


Randy Parker was named news director and local host of All Things Considered for WITF in Harrisburg, Pa. Parker most recently worked as Central Pennsylvania executive editor for Gannett’s USA Today Network. Gannett recently announced layoffs, but none occurred among the Central Pennsylvania properties, according to the York Daily Record. Parker worked for the York, Pa., newspaper from 1989 to 2019 and was also an assistant city editor for the Dallas Morning News.


Ezekiel Kubisch rejoined WMHT in Troy, N.Y., as a production manager. He most recently worked as a multimedia designer and videographer for Excelsior University in Albany, N.Y. Before that he worked for WMHT from 2012 to 2021 in several positions, including senior producer.


Zoe Kurland rejoined Marfa Public Radio in Texas as a podcast producer. Kurland said on Twitter that her work will be part of a new initiative focused on longform podcasts and community engagement. Kurland previously worked as a news producer for Southern California Public Radio. She was also a host and reporter for Marfa Public Radio between 2021 and early 2022.


Todd Kennedy, PD for WFIT in Melbourne, Fla., is retiring from the station. On Facebook, Kennedy said he will retain his position as host of Sound Wave for the foreseeable future until a successor is named. Kennedy began volunteering for the station in 1992 as a late-night DJ. He was hired as director of operations in the late 1990s and became PD in 2004.


Julia Furukawa became permanent host for All Things Considered at New Hampshire Public Radio. “Never did I think I’d be hosting a news magazine at 24. Childhood Julia is beaming right now. :’),” she said on Twitter. Furukawa joined NHPR in 2020 as a fellow and was named interim All Things Considered host in May. She previously worked as a reporter and assistant managing editor for the Paris News in Texas.


Michaela Winberg was hired as a podcast producer for WHYY in Philadelphia. Winberg previously worked as a reporter for Billy Penn, a news site owned by the station. She joined the site as an intern in 2017 and was hired full-time in 2018. “It was a major honor to cover philly all these years. I’m really thrilled I get to keep doing it, but with a longer lens now. Dream job energy!!!” she said on Twitter.


Cassandra Jaramillo announced that she left her position as a reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting to join ProPublica as a reporter covering threats to democracy. She joined Reveal earlier this year after working as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News.



Franz Joachim, CEO for New Mexico PBS, was elected professional vice chair for the board of trustees of America’s Public Television Stations. He succeeds Susi Elkins, former GM for WKAR in East Lansing, Mich., who left public media to work for the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. Joachim has served on the board since 2019. He joined New Mexico PBS in 1999 and has been CEO since 2013.

Current Reporter Tyler Falk contributed reporting to this column.

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